What Is A Chemical Peel?

If you would like to improve your dull skin tone and uneven complexion, a chemical peel can enhance the overall appearance of your skin.  A chemical peel can combat signs of aging and leave your skin looking younger and radiantly beautiful.  But what exactly is a chemical peel?  

What Is A Chemical Peel?

A chemical peel is a skin rejuvenation treatment that uses a chemical solution to break down the outermost layers of dead skin cells.  The goal of a chemical peel is to brighten the skin and even out skin tone.  It leaves the skin clearer, brighter, and smoother.   

There are three basic types of chemical peels, light, medium, and deep.  The active ingredients used in mild to medium depth peels include lactic acid, salicylic acid, retinol, and citric acid.  The type and concentration of the acid applied will determine the strength and effectiveness of the peel.

Light peels act on the epidermis (outer layer of the skin), while medium peels act on the superficial dermis (middle layer of the skin).  

Dermatologists often perform combination peels by combining 2-3 acids at a mild concentration.   For example, the MJ Peel combines salicylic acid, lactic acid, and citric acid. 

Chemical peels can be customized to suit your skin type and the conditions being treated.   They are generally performed on the face, neck, and hands. 

How Often Should You Get A Chemical Peel?

The frequency with which you should get a chemical peel will depend on the type of peel and the skin concerns being treated.  Light peels can be done monthly, and medium peels every 4-6 months.  Deep peels are aggressive, so only one treatment is needed to achieve the desired results. 

What Does A Chemical Peel Treat? 

A chemical peel can address a range of complexion concerns, including:

  • Wrinkles and fine lines
  • Skin laxity
  • Rough texture
  • Hyperpigmentation
  • Acne scarring
  • Sun damage
  • Melasma

What’s Involved In A Chemical Peel?

The skin is cleansed at the outset to remove any oil, makeup, or sunscreen after which the chemical solution is applied.  The type and intensity of the peel will determine how long the solution remains on the skin.

Most patients feel mild burning or stinging when the peel is applied, but this usually lasts about 5-10 minutes.  Goggles are used to protect the eyes during a chemical peel.  

The chemicals create a controlled injury and dissolve the top layers of dead skin cells.  This process promotes cell regeneration and collagen production.  It also helps to even skin tone and texture. 

A chemical peel should be performed by a board-certified dermatologist, plastic surgeon, or a licensed skincare professional

What To Expect After A Chemical Peel?

Depending on the depth and intensity of the peel, patients may experience some redness, irritation, and mild flaking for 2-7 days after the procedure.  

Light peels require 1-3 days of downtime, but medium peels may need 5-7 days of recovery.  Deep peels require significant downtime, up to 2 weeks in some cases.  

The skin is very sensitive to the sun after a chemical peel, so clients should wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen every day.  Wearing a wide-brimmed hat can provide additional sun protection.    

Clients should adhere to their doctor’s post-peel guidelines relating to cleansing and moisturizing the skin to ensure the best results.  

Once the peeling process is complete, fresh new skin will emerge, and the skin will look vibrant and more youthful.

Are You A Good Candidate For A Chemical Peel?

If you would like to address early signs of facial aging or skin concerns such as sun damage, uneven skin tone, and hyperpigmentation, you may be a good candidate for a chemical peel.   

A chemical peel can transform your dull, tired-looking skin and give you a radiant, more even-toned complexion. 

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